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LSAC: Laboratory for the Science and Application of Catalysis

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The Iglesia group addresses the design, synthesis, and structural and functional characterization of inorganic solids useful as catalysts for reactions relevant to the production, conversion and use of energy carriers, the sustainable synthesis of petrochemicals, and the minimization of environmental impacts of energy conversion and use. Current research includes designing catalysts for converting C1 and oxygenate molecules to fuels and large-volume chemicals as bridges to carbon-free energy platforms, the formation mechanism and reactivity consequences of oxygen species in oxidation and deoxygenation turnovers, the design, synthesis, and catalytic use of active sites at specific locations within confined environments to enforce molecular traffic constraints and preferential stabilization of specific transition states, and the mechanistic consequences of dense phases, whether intrapore liquids or dense surface adlayers, in solvating precursors and transition states.

This research is enabled by novel synthetic protocols to prepare active nanostructures and isolated single-site catalysts within porous solids and by techniques for assessing their location, structure, and atomic connectivity, in most instances during catalytic reactions. It also exploits steady-state and transient kinetic methods and isotopically-labeled molecules to elucidate the mechanism of reactions on surfaces, at the level of primary and secondary reaction paths, but also, and most relevantly, in terms of the elementary processes that mediate catalytic sequences. The general approach involves systematic experimental inquiries into structure and function benchmarked against rigorous analysis by density functional theory and higher-level theoretical treatments.


Professor Iglesia Presents Keynote at Gordon Research Conference

July 6, 2018

Professor Iglesia presented the keynote lecture entitled "Trailblazing through energy landscapes and the cuddling of transition states" (link to graphical abstract and to first and last few slides) at the Catalysis Gordon Research Conference. Four LSAC alumns, Aditya Bhan, Raj Gounder, David Hibbitts, and Beata Kilos-Reaume also presented lectures at this meeting. The photos are of all participants and of all the LSAC alums in attendance. The conference was held at Colby-Sawyer College in New London, NH.

Kazuhiro Takanabe Joins the Department of Chemical System Engineering at the University of Tokyo

July 1, 2018

Kazu Takanabe joined the School of Engineering, Department of Chemical System Engineering, at the University of Tokyo as a Full Professor on July 1. He will remain an adjunct professor at KAUST. Congratulations to Kazu on his new career!

Professor Iglesia Presents Keynote Lecture at Instituto de Investigaciones en Catálisis y Petroquímica

June 9, 2018

Professor Iglesia presented a keynote lecture at the Workshop for the Future Perspective of Catalytic Science and Technology. The workshop was located at Instituto de Investigaciones en Catálisis y Petroquímica in Argentina. Other notable speakers included Professor Avelino Corma and Dr. José Santiesteban.

Read the workshop brochure (Spanish) here

Sam Leung Receives Chevron Research Fellowship

May 10, 2018

Congratulations to Sam for receiving the Chevron Research Fellowship in recognition of his excellence in catalysis research!

Kazuhiro Takanabe Appointed Professor at University of Tokyo

May 8, 2018

Congratulations to Kazu Takanabe, who was recently appointed full professor at the University of Tokyo. Dr. Takanabe will begin his new position on July 1.

Raj Gounder Promoted to Associate Professor with Tenure

April 6, 2018

Beata Kilos Receives 2018 Early Career Investigator Award at ACS

March 22, 2018

Raj Gounder Named 2018 Sloan Research Fellow in Chemistry

February 15, 2018

Professor Iglesia Presents the Inaugural Wolfgang Sachtler Lecture at the Ipatieff Sesquicentennial Celebration at Northwestern University

September 7, 2017

Aditya Bhan and Kazuhiro Takanabe appointed Journal of Catalysis Associate Editors

September 1, 2017

Trenton Otto and Samuel Leung Receive Awards for GSI Excellence

August 23, 2017
Trenton Otto
Samuel Leung

Congratulations to Trenton Otto and Sam Leung for receiving the Excellence in Teaching Award and the Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award, respectively. Trent is recognized for his teaching of Chemical Engineering Lab. Sam is recognized for his teaching of Process Control.

Raj Gounder Selected as One of AIChE 35 Under 35 Chemical Engineers

August 10, 2017

Congratulations to Raj Gounder on his selection for the AIChE 35 Under 35 Award. Nominees are chosen because "they have made significant contributions to the Institute and to the chemical engineering profession."

Learning that chemical engineering “was among the most demanding undergraduate majors” was a reason for Gounder to pursue the degree, not shy away from it. An undergraduate research project sparked his interest in catalysis and academia, and positioned him to become an assistant professor of chemical engineering at Purdue Univ., where, he says, “I now spend most of every day thinking about catalysis.”

The goal of all that thought and research is to “enable catalysis to become a more quantitative and predictive science,” he says. A busy schedule makes it difficult for Gounder to protect his time for uninterrupted thinking and scholarly output. However, he enjoys the time he spends “working with and learning from talented, energetic, and creative students.”

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